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Ace of Hearts

10/11 - Ace of Hearts - A Bond of Wildflowers Ch 16

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Hi everyone,

 
Thanks for your comments (and for telling me how allosexuals behave lol)! I'll also give a warning ahead of time that my partner's going to be visiting for a while so I'll probably be even less active on the site than I normally am. But I will get to critiques and reading people's comments on my story eventually! 
 
This one isn't rewritten as much as many others, so idk if that means more or fewer LbL issues/things feeling out of place.
 
1. Points of engagement/non-engagement/confusion?
2. Thoughts on characters?
 
Thanks as always! :)
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I thought this was a really good chapter and finally got to things we've been waiting a long time to see! There are some interesting tidbits with how the village is set up and how much these people are actually magical vs. just isolated. I'm looking forward to seeing what's real and what's not. There were some good parts on how they came there, and whether they took native land just as much as the rest of the US did. Sounds like they may just be a bit more like the Amish than truly cut off from the rest of civilization.

I really like that things are moving now, but all this definitely needs to come sooner. It feels like this is getting to the heart of the story, and it's 16 chapters in.


Notes while reading:
pg 3: "and that took a whole engagement timespan to pass"
--It took that long for them to accept her? Unclear.

bottom of pg 4: B's name is spelled differently

pg 6: "doesn’t have the genetic marker for Huntington’s"
--wait, what? Where did this come from? I think I'm missing something.

pg 7: "Secrets within secrets within secrets"
--how long is the book supposed to be? I think no matter how long, a lot of this should start popping up earlier.

pg 11: Interesting to see the "Fey" people, and now I'm really wondering how much they're actually magical and how much they're just sort of Amish-like

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I have to say, this is my favorite chapter. The reveal of the village is a bit of a let down so far, but I feel like it is still a big pay off for the reader and for W who has worked hard to let the relationship progress to thos point. 

On 10/12/2021 at 7:14 AM, Mandamon said:

 

pg 6: "doesn’t have the genetic marker for Huntington’s"
--wait, what? Where did this come from? I think I'm missing something.

pg 11: Interesting to see the "Fey" people, and now I'm really wondering how much they're actually magical and how much they're just sort of Amish-like

I agree on both points.

It's nice to see N as less of a puppy in this chapter, and I like that W notices and appreciates this different aspect of his nature. 

1st paragraph, second sentence gets a bit convoluted.

"This person was descended" I may be wrong, but to my ear it's either "this person descended" or "this person was a decendent". 

Not much else to say. I liked how the dialogue flowed in this chapter and the transitions were effortless to follow. Well done!

Edited by Sarah B
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Pg 1.

I think part of it is just having a big stretch between reading the last chapter and this one, but the opening line leans back into W’s moping a bit.  I know that she is dealing with a lot of really difficult things, and that it’s accurate, but opening it makes it feel a little more melodramatic, which isn’t the sort of reaction I want to have.

“make sure to give him kisses…to show it’s okay to let me help him.” This doesn’t quite follow to me.

I’m sort of surprised there isn’t more distress about the hospice care.  To me, that would seem like the official acknowledgment that they don’t expect her to get better. I wasn’t under the impression that they were quite at that point, but that could be WRS.

Pg 2.

“W, right?” this seems like an odd intro. A little more distant than I’d expect.  No intro from N? Or an “I’m so glad to meet you after all N has said?”

“petrified wood”  This seems like both an odd kitchen table material choice and an odd thing for W to recognize and casually observe.

“Hearing you ask…” I’m surprised she doesn’t fumble over this response a little more.  Which probably contradicts my comments on other chapters saying that we don’t need to be constantly reminded that she struggles in social situations, but this is a difficult question to answer, even for someone who is confident in their social skills.

 

Pg 3.

The conversation through here seems a little wordy, and a little more…established? I know she’s more solidly determined to take part in the relationship than when she wasn’t sure if she even wanted to be dating him, but I’m surprised she’s not more startled by the “we’re meant for each other.” I guess the seriousness of the relationship seems to have jumped a good deal compared to what I remember from before.

 

Pg 4.

I’m surprised W isn’t a little more skeptical of wishing on trees. Or that she doesn’t have to justify it to herself to some extent.

 

Pg 6.

I’m not clear on who the “we” is referring to at various points in the history explanation.  Or who W is going to have to keep her mouth shut to about it. Or some of the actual details that are being conveyed (probably partly due to the pronoun confusion).

“look how that turned out.” Does she know how it turned out?

The Huntington’s detail definitely seems out of place.  I remember it being mentioned in the prologue, I think, but don’t remember it coming up elsewhere.  And it just seems like a really random thing for a mom to bring up on a first meeting.  Did W know that’s what N’s mom had?

“I didn’t want your thoughts of a long-term relationship…” I feel like most teenagers would be rather alarmed by being pulled aside by a boyfriend’s mom to discuss said boyfriend’s life expectancy.  I have enough trouble getting injured athletes to think about what the choices they make will mean for the next sports season, let alone where they might be years down the road.

 

Pg 7.

I really like the scene end line.

Pg 8.

“we hit a gate.”  Reach? Come across? I know “hit” is an entirely accurate word choice, but I definitely had to do a double take on this one.

I’m not sure what purpose the time spent looking at waterfalls and things is serving at the moment if we aren’t getting more detail on what N finds so exciting about them.  Even W doesn’t seem especially impressed.

“something out of 19th century Britain” this reference isn’t creating a clear image in my head of what they’re wearing. 

Pg 10.

“the kids explode into noise”  are we supposed to know what’s going on here?

Overall:

I think many of my moments of non-engagement/confusion would be helped significantly by a couple editing passes to fix wordiness and dialogue flow.   At the moment, some parts of the conversations feel out of place, but I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t seem like they need to be there, or if it’s the wordiness making them feel a little off.

Despite the poking at various things above, I do really like W meeting (and being evaluated by) N’s mom, and the trip to the village.  It needs to be smoothed out in several places, but I think this angle adds a lot, and agree that it would be nice for some aspects of it to come sooner.

 

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As I go:

p4 - Did W really consider that the tea might be enchanted or drugged? I thought W was fairly relaxed and trusting of the situation, but now I'm not sure if she feels threatened.

p6 - It feels a bit weird that N's mom feels the need to explain the village's history and its historical revisionism to W before she visits. I'm not sure why this is important for W to know when she's only going to be visiting for a few hours.

p7 - I'm a bit confused in general by the conversation between W and N's mom. Did B-d only pull W aside to tell her that N isn't going to get Huntington's disease? Why does she bring up her parenting issues? Why would B-d be so vague and ominous with W, when she had the option of just not saying anything and acting like a normal mom?

p9 - This explains why N was going into the woods and coming out covered in glitter :) 

p10 - W's ability to lie being seen as an incredible magic power by the kids is a neat touch, I like it

 

On 12/10/2021 at 0:27 AM, Ace of Hearts said:

1. Points of engagement/non-engagement/confusion?

The scene of N interacting with the village kids and being interrupted by Bad News Grandma really worked for me.

The scene with N's mom I found a bit confusing in terms of what I was supposed to take away from it. Am I supposed to come away with the idea that B-d is friendly and trustworthy? Or am I supposed to be weirded out by her? I'm getting mixed signals.

The part where they enter the village could also do with being spiced up a bit. I was expecting something really cool and magical, or maybe a surprise twist or something. There's been so much build-up to this moment and seeing what's being hidden from the world in the magic fairy forest. The descriptions of the drive in, the scenery and the market just fall a bit flat.

On 12/10/2021 at 0:27 AM, Ace of Hearts said:

2. Thoughts on characters?

As I noted, I'm not sure what to make of B-d. I like the introduction of the grandma, though. The way she's set up makes me interested to find out what's going on with her, even though I didn't know she existed before this chapter, which is pretty good in terms of efficiency.

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